History

The Wickepin area was one of several agricultural districts opened up under the various Crown Lands and Repurchase Acts of Sir John Forrest's administration of the 1890's. The Great Southern Railway opened in 1889 and was responsible for the growth of Narrogin, 39km to the south west and the expansion of settlement in the Wickepin area. By 1906 a town was developing. The Wickepin Road District was constituted on January 22 1909 and the Narrogin Wickepin railway line was officially opened to traffic on 16 February 1909. The rail link between Wickepin and Corrigin was completed on 8 June 1914.

Prior to the establishment of a police camp at Wickepin in 1911 the area was provided with police protection from Narrogin. Requests were made from the Wickepin District Road Board, the New Jerusalem Progress Association and petitions signed by the general public for a policeman to be stationed in the town. On 23 March 1911 Constable William John Begley, number 347, arrived in Wickepin and established a police camp which sufficed until the following year when a police station and prison cell with quarters attached were established on Richter Street, Wickepin.

The commercial side of Wickepin grew very quickly especially before the extension of the railway to Corrigin. Wickepin was the end of the line and had one of the biggest Ford dealerships in the southern hemisphere, three banks, blacksmiths and many other businesses.
The first school in the town was opened in October 1911 with 26 children. The brick railway station, stationmaster's house, hotel, most of the present shops and the post office were all constructed before the end of 1913.

The cricket and football clubs were also formed about the same time. There was a men's athletics club and a race club. The race track was out of town and the annual race meeting was held around New Year.

There was a resident doctor from 1911 onwards with various hospital buildings before the Memorial Hospital was opened in 1923.

On 21 December 1964 both electricity and piped water were connected to the town.

The first sections of the present Town Hall were built by 1920 with various additions taking place up until 1963. One of the additions was the Road Board office to the front of the building until their relocation to the current administration office in 1975.

The area has always has been renowned for its sheep studs since CG Russell founded their 'Yarling Brook' stud in the 1940's.

The sheep selling complex was located behind the hotel then adjacent to the golf club before moving to its present location in 1982. The first agricultural show was held on 24 October 1917 and advertised as the "First Grand Spring Horticultural Show and Industrial Exhibition". These shows continued until the mid 1960's.

Community activities and interests continue to weld the fabric of the country communities. In 1984, the Arts and Crafts group established in Wickepin and subsequently located in the former Masonic Lodge.

During the 1980's, the Wickepin District Sports Club became the main venue for the community social and sporting functions, rivaling the existing Wickepin Town Hall. More recently, the Wickepin Community Centre provides excellent facilities for community functions in Wickepin.

Wickepin Historical Summary

  • Secondary Freight Network
    Secondary Freight Network The Shire of Wickepin, along with the 41 other Wheatbelt local governments, is working towards an integrated Wheatbelt Secondary Collector Freight Route project. Click here to read more
  • Wickepin Winter Weekend
    Wickepin Winter Weekend A number of caravan clubs including the West Coast Wags and The South West Wanderers also arrived to join in for the weekend. Click here to read more
  • Dryandra Country Art, Food & Wine Trail
    Dryandra Country Art, Food & Wine Trail Wickepin, Cuballing, Narrogin and Williams created a haven of art, food & wine with a big dose of country air and hospitality for the 5th annual art trail held over the recent Mother’s Day weekend. Click here to read more